Earlier this week, the Associated Press made available to news sources that subscribe to its services an article by Mark Major, who teaches political science at Penn State and is the Associate Director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. The article is part of the AP's excellent "The Conversation US" series. The series provides:
articles and commentary from academic researchers representing more than 250 universities, provided to AP customers through a distribution partnership with The Conversation-US. The Associated Press did not select or edit these items.
Mark Major's article is titled "How does Obama's use of unilateral powers compare to other presidents?" It's a good question and it might be worth our time to read how a scholar views Obama in relationship to previous presidents. If you google passages from the Major's article, it appears that at least 38 news sources chose to run Major's article.
I mention Major's article because coincidentally(?) Mike Myer's Saturday column is on the same topic.
Here is how Mark Major begins his analysis:
During a 2008 town hall event, then Senator Barack Obama told the audience that as a legal scholar and teacher, he took the Constitution “very seriously.” He went on to criticize the Bush administration, asserting: “The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all.”
And here is how Mike Myer begins today's column:
“The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all,” Barack Obama told a town hall audience in 2008, when he was running for president.
Later Major tells us:
For his part, President Obama hit the ground running once in office. According to one report, he issued more unilateral directives “in his first 100 days than any president since Franklin Roosevelt.”
Similarly Myer writes:
The list goes on and on. By one count, Obama issued more unilateral directives during his first 100 days in office than any president since Franklin Roosevelt.
Just a thought, perhaps Mike Myer needs to have a talk with his editor about properly giving credit to sources of information that are used in his column. Never mind . . . . Myer is the editor.
Major's article is balanced and scholarly and he provides internal links to all of his sources throughout the article -- something the online versions of the Intelligencer editorials/columns never do. Myer's column, apart from what he "borrowed" from Major, is the usual anti-Obama attacks we've seen many, many times before.